Author Archives: George Simmers

After many years as a teacher, I retired and began researching for a Ph.D. on the fiction of the Great War – especially the books, stories and plays that were written during the War or immediately afterwards.

Films of 1916

The BFI website offers a new selection of films of 1916, free to view. The image above is from a ‘Topical Budget’ film showing soldiers receiving hydrotherapy at Devonshire House in Buxton. The treatment was mostly for rheumatic diseases, and the website comments:

A war poem

I’ve written a lot here about other people’s war poems, so when one of my own is published, I might as well post it here too, even though the war is not the Great one that I usually write about. The  Spectator sets a literary challenge each week.  This time it asked us to imagine […]

A centenary

On January 27th, 1916, conscription was introduced in Britain.  

Middlebrow Wodehouse

I don’t think it’s on general sale yet, but my contributor’s copy of Middlebrow Wodehouse arrived on Saturday. I was very chuffed to see my chapter on Wodehouse and the First World War in print, in such a sturdy and attractive volume.

Rappelez-vous 1914

In the window of a second-hand bookshop in Paris, an envelope with a stamp on the back. From the twenties?

Paris

My favourite street in Paris is the Rue Christine. This evening we had dinner at the remarkable Christine restaurant (excellent confit of veal followed by an extraordinary mojito baba) and then crossed the road to the Action cinema for John Ford’s The Lost Patrol (about a group of British soldiers stranded in Mesopotamia after their […]

Ernest Raymond’s ‘The Quiet Shore’

Ernest Raymond’s novel of Gallipoli, Tell England was the great best-seller about the war in the early 1920s. It was reprinted fourteen times in 1922, and six times in 1923; by 1939 it had sold 300,000 copies, and subsequent editions stayed in print for forty years. Raymond returned to Gallipoli at least twice in later […]

‘The Silent Morning’ in paperback

The excellent news is that The Silent Morning, the essay collection about the aftermath of the Armistice, edited by Trudi Tate and Kate Kennedy, is now in a paperback edition at a much less scary price. I’ve mentioned this before (click here for a blog post including a full list of the book’s contents) and […]

Remembrance

On Wednesdays I go to the excellent Newsome Junior School near my home in Huddersfield, to listen to children reading. By the front path yesterday morning, there was an installation of poppies, made by the children. The design is influenced by Wave, part of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red display of ceramic […]

The Magnet

I gave my Magnet talk at Manchester yesterday. That’s one I really enjoyed researching, but I ought to move on now. I had intended to publish the paper on this blog, but I now think I’d rather wait, and incorporate it into a longer piece of writing about ways in which popular culture found ways […]

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